From Dilijan to the Universe

Visual artist Anna Hakopian spent several days in the city of Dilijan as part of the “tegh-tegh” mobility program for artists, cultural practitioners, and researchers. She traveled through time, encapsulating the interplay of memories from the past, the unfolding present, and the anticipation of a future filled with hope for miracles. The illustrations of the artists, accompanied by her notes, evoke a sense of magic reminiscent of enchanted maps found in science fiction books, serving as mystical guides that lead the viewer and reader along the paths of Dilijan's past and current times, ultimately transporting them into a space imbued with wonders."

The CSN Lab team has launched a bilingual website (in Armenian and English) dedicated to Anna Hakopian's "From Dilijan to the Universe" project, showcasing the visuals and writings composed by the artist.

Dilijan was frequently featured on postcards during Soviet times. Primarily, these cases reproduced socialist ideologies and various symbols of the latter through the buildings constructed during the social modernism era. Among them, one could find the "Dilijan" hotel, the five-winged monument dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Soviet regime in Armenia, the "Mountain Armenia" sanatorium, the house of composers, et cetera. There are fewer examples illustrating people and their everyday life practices, with almost none representing the period preceding the urbanization of the settlement.

In the post-colonial period, the practice of documenting Dilijan and the course of life through postcards slowly dwindled. 

While certain developments and changes certainly took place, the city, as such, lingered in the same haze of (in)attention and oblivion, reminiscent of the postcards encapsulating its complex past. Given this, Anna Hakopian’s "From Dilijan to the Universe '' project is an exceptional artistic study that combines the genres of a science fiction and a travel literature, known and beloved in the Soviet times.


“Tegh-tegh” has been carried out by the “Cultural and Social Narratives Laboratory” (CSN Lab) with the support of the "Danish Cultural Institute" (DCI) within the framework of the "New Democracy Fund" (NDF) project.